Sri Aurobindo-Theory of Mind

Be conscious first of thyself within, then think and act. All living thought is a world in preparation; all real act is a thought manifested. The material world exists because an idea began to play in divine self–consciousness.

Hierarchy from lowest Inconsistent state of consciousness to higher perfect state of Supreme mind

Several concepts of Mind is described in Western concepts of Mind studies. They are

Psycho-analytical (cf., Sigmund Freud, Karl Jung, A. Adler), Behavioural (cf., Gilbert Ryle), Gestalt (cf., Max Wertheimer,Kurt Koffka, Wolfgang Kohler), Physiological (cf., J. J. C. Smart, U. T. Place, Feigl),Psycho-physical (cf., Karl Popper), Evolutionary (cf., Henry Bergson, Samuel Alexander,Whitehead), Functional (cf., R. Rorty, Peter Smith, O. R. Jones), and Mental or Homo Sapiens-oriented (cf., Roger Penrose).

Iceberg Theory of Mind by Psycho-analyst Freud

With so many scientific concept challenging the Traditional Mind- Theory, Sri Aurobindo concept is still fresh with its truthful & genuine identity. Westerners haven’t yet concluded the final statements of the mind-theory, they still lack to provide scientific reasoning for the complex nature of our Mind. Let’s understand the concept of Mind by Sri Aurobindo to give us balanced view on the prevalent theory of Mind.

Aurobindo’s teaching states that behind the appearance of the universe there is a Reality of Being and Consciousness’, the Sachchidanada.

This One Being and Consciousness is involved in Matter’. This clearly indicates the very source of Aurobindonian ontological argument viz., the “Involution-Evolution” theory of the Absolute. That is why he adds, `Evolution is the method by which the One Being and Consciousness liberates itself; consciousness appears in what seems to be inconsistent, and… is self-impelled to grow higher and higher and at the same time to enlarge and develop towards a greater and greater perfection. Life is the first step of this release of consciousness; mind is the second; but the evolution does not finish with mind, it awaits a release into something greater, a consciousness which is spiritual and supra-mental. The next step of the evolution must be towards the development of the Super-mind and Spirit as the dominant power in the conscious being’ [Homo Sapiens]. For only then will the involved Divinity in things release itself entirely and it become possible for life to manifest perfection’.

In the Theory of Integral Yoga by Sri Aurobindo, mind and mental are parts of a person. Mind is a source of Analysis & Synthesis of a thing. Mental is a source of cognition and recognition of perception.

Higher Mind is a state of higher thought arising and processing through mental cognition.

Illumined Mind – It is a process of spiritual awakening. It is entering into the internal zones of consciousness.

Intuitive Mind – It is a higher form of reason or intellect. It is a kind of truth vision, truth hearing, truth memory and truth-discernment. It is the real step in fully opening of realization.

Over Mind – ‘We recognise… in the over-mind the original cosmic … power
which has made the Ignorance possible, even inevitable’. The overmind ‘receives the super light and divides, distributes and breaks it up into separated aspects, powers and multiplicities of all kinds’.

Super Mind – it is Absolute. It’s true work is to take us from truth to greater truth. The supermind is the total truth-consciousness. After completion of this phase of mind, spirit can connect to the ultimate supreme being. It is the true liberation of our consciousness.

All this grades or planes of mind (as Aurobindo says) isn’t the result of reflection, intution or guidance but the personal mystical experience which he underwent for nearly half a century from 1902 to 1950. After going through all the stages of mind, one obtains satchitananda i.e., truth, consciousness, bliss. This Theory of Mind & Supermind by Sri Aurobindo is widely accepted and confirmed to be the finest discovery of the Mind- Theory.

Reference: From “Mind” to “Supermind”:A Statement of Aurobindonian Approach
Kamaladevi R. Kunkolienker PES College of Arts of Sciences

Author: Madhvi

A philosopher, Writer, Traveler, PhD Scholar, Vegan and pet-lover.

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